Kadri Gopalnath - Live at Le Guess Who? 2018

On the closing night of Le Guess Who? 2018, Indian Carnatic music pioneer Kadri Gopalnath gave a mesmerizing performance, curated by Shabaka Hutchings. Listen to the full show, and watch and excerpt from the performance below. 


Kadri Gopalnath’s life’s work is to incorporate the woodwind instrument into the classic South Indian Carnatic music. To do so, the 69-year-old saxophone maestro single-handedly modified his alto sax and developed inventive playing techniques, recreating the microtones and vocal-like arrangements of orthodox Indian music. It took Gopalnath over twenty years to successfully integrate his instrument into Carnatic music, but the results are stunning; an ecstatic and majestic sound combining the best of both worlds.

Read our in-depth ‘Tracing the Roots’ feature about Kadri Gopalnath: "A lifetime of pioneering Indian Carnatic music".

"Le Guess Who? has always excelled at looking far afield and elevating traditional forms of music. Kadri Gopalnath is a saxophone maestro and pioneer who’s spent the best part of 20 years trying to integrate his instrument into traditional Indian Carnatic music; a reverential Sunday slot in the Grote Zaal is a fitting setting for one of his rare European performances. Sitting cross-legged, he and his band conjure hypnotic rhythms and joyful melodies, a riot of colour and feeling" - Drowned in Sound

Recorded on Sunday, 11 November, at TivoliVredenburg's Grote Zaal. Listen + watch more Le Guess Who? recordings via our archive

Video produced by Nick Helderman.
Audio recorded and mixed by Marc Broer.
Video edit by Nick Helderman.
Camera operators: Wim Adam, Milan van Dril, Roy Jamhouri, Tim van Voort.
Photography by Ben Houdijk (live) & Juri Hiensch (album cover).

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